Police Report From Controversial Wahpeton Arrest Made Public

Earlier today I posted about the Wahpeton Police Department having taken disciplinary action against Officer Dustin Hill who arrested teenager Robert Wanek after Wanek filmed the officer.

Now the police reports from the incident have been made public (they’re embedded below) and I have to say that reading through them, the arrogance displayed by the arresting officers is nothing short of infuriating.

Chief of Police Thornsteinson said in his statement on the incident (available here) that the arrest of Wanek was made “in good faith” and “without malice.” This is clearly not the case. The video does not at all match Officer Hill’s characterization of the incident, and it’s clear even from the blunt prose of the police reports that this kid was subjected to no small amount of intimidation.

I maintain that Office Hill should have been fired, and after reading this report I’d add that his supervisor ought to be suspended at the least.

There should be zero tolerance for this sort of behavior by law enforcement officers.

I hope that Wanek and his family pursue this matter further, because a slap on the wrist for Office Hill and no punishment at all for his supervisor who lectured Wanek for what he seems to think was provocation of Officer Hill, is unacceptable.

Keep in mind that if Wanek hadn’t happened to video tape this incident the word of the cops would have outweighed his, and this incident would have been overlooked instead of rightfully punished (even if said punishment is inadequate).

Wahpeton PD Fax 4261 0001

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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